"For being able to stay two steps ahead of the pack—while having one foot in the tank," said one panelist.
Just can't find that book you want? They'll almost certainly have it here. One of the last of Harvard Square's great independent bookstores, the Harvard Book Store is still run by the son of the man who founded it in 1932. It's stacked to the ceiling with texts, including an expanded selection of popular fiction and nonfiction, but also highbrow and specialty works you'll never find in the megachains at the mall. The knowledgeable staff will help you find the one you're looking for, climb one of the rickety wooden ladders to retrieve it for you, and more than likely offer a review. Downstairs is one of the best remainders departments in the country, along with well-preserved used books. The New York Times and in-store bestsellers are 20 percent off, as are 50 titles each month recommended by the store's buyers and booksellers; remainders are from 50 to 80 percent off the original price. 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA harvard.com/.
You know the scenario: (1) Every pot crashes to the floor as you reach for that little-used cake pan. (2) You swear you'll reorganize the kitchen as soon as you're done baking. (3) You never get around to it. (4) Repeat during your next cooking attempt. None of that would happen with an Arclinea kitchen, because those Italians have thought of everything: deep, customizable drawers instead of awkward, traditional cabinets; hidden but oh-so-useful electrical outlets; and, of course, a look that will make you the envy of every foodie in town.
Who said the Internet would bring the death of print? Clearly no one at the 2014 Boston Book Festival, where traditional media and information-age innovation collided. While crowds converged on Copley Square to attend panels and keynotes with such international luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Norman Foster, last year also saw the unveiling of the "Books Come Alive" series, which connected readers and writers through streaming chats. Authors signed hard copies of their works, while the "One City One Story" selection, Jennifer Haigh's "Sublimation," was distributed as a free download through the BBF website. There's no longer any need to oppose the Kindle. We can all live together. Happily. bostonbookfest.org.
A place needs more than good sangria and jamn to qualify as a genuine tapas joint: It must also be a lively gathering spot, not one that's empty by 11 p.m. Toro has one of the most reliably bustling late-night scenes in the cityimpromptu dance parties have been known to break out around the barand a calendar peppered with fun events, like last spring's Calotada (Spring Onion Festival) and an annual party to mark the running of the bulls. Just as important, chef Jamie Bissonnette strikes precisely the right balance between beloved Spanish recipes (griddled garlic shrimp, chickpeas with chorizo) and adventurous ones (head cheese with pickled ramps, crispy pork belly with snails). Need a hit of liquid courage before you'll try the smoked beef tongue? That's what the sangria's for. 1704 Washington St., Boston, MA 2118, toro-restaurant.com.
With 40 beers on tap, craft cocktails, and more than 100 scotches, bourbons, and whiskeys, Hops N Scotch will wet your whistle one way or another. Head upstairs on weekends for the live DJ, or grab a seat on one of the couches downstairs. 1306 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446, hopsnscotchbar.com.
A one-woman office, she specializes in Newton properties, and does the job with warmth and gusto. To accommodate one busy client, she picked him up at his office during lunch hour and provided a picnic lunch to munch on as they prowled properties in Brookline. 381 Elliot St., Newton, MA .
One-of-a-kind baubles from one-of-a-kind artists. 127 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
One of the first juiceries to open before Boston reached peak saturation, Jugos endures thanks to its immense selection of made-to-order juices, boosts, smoothies, acai bowls, and very tasty chia pudding. The Xochitl (“so-chill”)—a brew of kale, banana, dates, strawberries, and cashew milk—is one of the best green smoothies we’ve ever had. The lines confirm that we’re not the only ones who think so. 145 Dartmouth St., Boston, MA 02116, visitjugos.com.
Nobody is having a great year, so we've been advised by one sports ace: In the valley of the blind give it to the one-eyed man.
A gimmick-free approach that will help you lose weight without losing your mind. One-on-one attention and real food. All locations, .
Bacon fans and omelet groupies, take a knee: This one's for Pancake Nation. A Main Street storefront café that's more about warmth than polish, Sugar Magnolia's flips buttermilk and blueberry flapjacks as big as Paul Bunyan's mittens and just as thick. But it's the moist, delicately spicy carrot cake version—aided by a genius three-in-one spread of maple syrup, cream cheese, and butter—that verges on the stuff of legend. (Those who absolutely have to get their protein fix won't feel left out: Sugar Magnolia's has a worthy roster of egg-, meat-, and fish-based breakfasts, too.) 112 Main St., Gloucester, MA 1930, sugarmags.com.
Some less enlightened staffers here at Boston magazine argued against this pick, citing its limited availability (Formaggio fires up its sidewalk grill once a week, and for only half the year) and the unforgivable snobbishness of awarding the title of best street food to a purveyor of $7 hot dogs. But proponents were unmoved, pointing out that said dogs weigh in at a juicy half pound. And that—like the house-made sausages and the pulled pork, chicken, and lamb—forms part of what just might be the Hub's most joyous eating experience. That status is owed largely to Formaggio's new grill-master, Kurt Gurdal, whose infectious enthusiasm will surely stand him in good stead through season's end, in mid-November. 244 Huron Ave., Cambridge, MA formaggiokitchen.com.